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Twitter Poetry and a NYPL Contest

If you don’t know the premise of Twitter — posting micro-thoughts of up to 140 characters — you must be anciently old or infantile-y young.

There are obviously some polarized thoughts on this no-longer-new form of expression.

Blah, blah, deteriorating attention spans, darn lazy young people, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, new forms of expression, advancing society, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, social media marketing, brand-consumer interaction, blah, blah. Blah.

Was that quite enough blah’s to make your brain hurt? Okay then, moving on. I think that all those people with the polarized views are missing the point. As people with polarized opinions often. Yes, I think it’s a shame that people’s attention spans last about five seconds due to the constant stream of… whatever, but I read somewhere that decreasing attention spans has been a lamentation-du-jour for centuries.

And as a writer, Twitter’s limited space for expression is a great place to practice using language economically. “Brevity,” as we learn in Hamlet “is the the soul of wit.” I agree entirely with the sentiment, despite the irony of the fact that it comes from Shakespeare’s long-winded, dull Polonius. This is true whether we’re discussing humour, poetry or a novel. Why waste a paragraph on what can be said with more strength in one sentence?*

Really, twitter works with the same premise as poetry. I think my creative writing teacher from last year explained that poetry is prose distilled, and I think that in an ideal twitterverse, tweets are blog posts distilled.

They’re also a great medium for an up and coming form — Twitter Poetry! That’s right, poems composed of 140 characters or less. The New York Public Library has caught onto this trend and they are having a super cool poetry contest! You can find out all about it on their site and enter if you have a twitter account and live in The States (which I now do, so yay me!). The contest only runs until March 10, so get writing and check out my submissions at @asolitaryramble!

May the brief, witty, poetical forces be with you! (Whatever that’s in reference to…. Seriously. I have no idea what I’m referencing there. Something science-fiction-y?)

*Disclaimer: the only form that this does not hold true in is the academic high school (and possibly university) essay. In such pieces of writing, it is essential to be as redundant as possible, rephrasing the exact same idea using different words and examples as much as you can without absolutely dying of boredom. For some reason, teachers love this and will call your work things like “excellent” and give you mid- to high-nineties. There will be the occasional hundred-percent, but only if you say in five paragraphs what could have been summed up in one sentence.

Another Award! Another Award!

Hey blogosphere friends! (I cannot believe I just used the word blogosphere… Am I even spelling it correctly? Should it be capitalized? Italicized? Put into quotes? Does using this “word” make me sound stupid? Because I’m not, pinky swear!)

What have you been up to lately? I’ve been busy finishing up the last few weeks of school, which I blame for the scantiness (yes, that is a word — I even checked) of my posts lately… But have no fear! In just a few weeks I’ll be free, which will mean more posts, more frequently! The good news is, I’m already done the first million assignments on my to-do list, so now I only have the other million or so to finish up. And the way my school works, I only have two exams, because all the other classes I take are all assignments. Be happy for me, this is awesome (or at least it’s awesome now, once I’m finished with most of the assignments. When I was in the middle of all that work? Not so much.)

Anyways, in today’s post, I’d like to thank Wilhelmina Upton, whose blog you can find here, for passing along the 7×7 Link Award. It is so kind of you and I am so flattered. Especially as a relatively new blogger, it always makes me so happy whenever I get likes, comments, followers and especially these fun awards.

So, as always, there are just a few rules.

1. Thank the person who nominated you

2. Share something about yourself that you’ve yet to tell the Blogosphere (there I go, using that silly word again)

3. Link to 7 of your previous posts

4. Pass the award on to 7 other blogs

(Get it? See why it’s 7×7?)

Hmmm, one unknown thing about me? This is tough, because I tend to tell you guys everything (that’s a bit of an overstatement, if  I told you everything you probably wouldn’t want to come back. I mean, this isn’t twitter; you don’t care what time I went to sleep last night or what I ate for breakfast this morning…) Actually, that’s a good idea! Breakfast! Isn’t that one of those ice-breaker games, which are supposed to reveal something deep and meaningful about you as a person, without the risk of getting too personal?

Okay, so, breakfast. I have to wake up pretty darn early for school, and I am not a morning person on any level. So I sleep in until the last possible minute and then I have to rush out of the house, with no time to eat breakfast at the table. Besides, eating breakfast on the way to school is what cars are made for, right? Additionally, due to my not-a-morning-person-itis I find eating real foods a daunting task before 8:00 AM. Which is where smoothies come in! Delicious, nutritious, easy-to-drink in the driver’s seat and possible to ingest in a semi-conscious state.

The smoothies I drink in the car DO NOT look this enticing…
Photo credit: shopnaturalegreenonline.ca

Great, so now you know something new about me, which will perhaps help you see deep into the workings of my mind, body and soul.

Seven Previous Posts. Am I supposed to pick my favourites? How can I do that? I think they’re all pretty awesome, you know, in my humble opinion… Well, anyway, here it goes:

Welcome to My Shiny New Blog

A Competent Number of Nursery Maids

Literary Baby Names

Much Ado About “The Vow”

My Life In Books

Dear Me, Let Us Be Elegant or Die

Happy Birth(and Death)Day To The Bard!

Now, about this whole pass-it-on concept. I have something to admit. And it’s going to make you think I’m a really terrible person. In fact, I probably am a really terrible person. The thing is… I’ve yet to read and follow that many blogs. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Whew! Okay, now that that’s off my chest, the guilt has lifted and I feel so much better. School’s just been crazy since I started with WordPress, and I’ve been spending the little time I have for blogging on the writing of the blogs, as opposed to the reading of them.

Once school ends, this will hopefully change. I want to pass this on the a whole bunch of amazing blogs, and I will, just as soon as I have time to read those amazing blogs!

Okay, well, since I’m temporarily copping out of step four, I guess this is it. Thanks again Wilhelmina! You’re the best!

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